Emotional Fitness Group for Men
Updated: Aug 5
Why should Emotional Fitness be important to Men?
Our CRC office in Atlanta, Georgia will be hosting a group about emotional and relational health for men, led by Ryan O'Kelly, APC, starting on August 31st, 2021.
It is no secret that the words “emotions” and “feelings” can have some negative connotations among men especially when paired with “fitness.” So in order to help address these misconceptions, Ryan has provided five answers to the question: Why should Emotional Fitness be important to men?
1. Emotional Fitness will help you live a more balanced and meaningful life.
Men, have you ever heard someone say “Deal with your emotions or your emotions will deal with you”? Do you agree or disagree?
Our emotions do not exist to make us view ourselves as weak, pathetic, inferior, or emasculated. One of the God-given purposes of our emotions is to help us know how to respond to matters happening outside of us, around us, and within ourselves. Being emotionally fit means you are gaining understanding of your emotions, what they are telling you, then choosing to respond in a wise, balanced, and value-centered way.
Our emotions can be likened to the various symbols and lights on your car’s instrument panel as well as the warning sounds. When the infamous “Check Engine Light” comes on we know that there are likely several things we need to check that may be a real issue or could become a problem down the road. Or perhaps you hear the chime that warns you to turn off your headlights before exiting the car but ignore it then you may realistically discover later that the battery is dead. Pay attention to your emotions and let them inform you of how you may want to respond.
2. Understanding human emotionality will allow you to properly respond to other peoples’
emotions and needs.
Do your wife, girlfriend, or close friends sometimes tell you that they experience you as withdrawn, closed-off, distant, uncaring, or unresponsive when it comes to them sharing their feelings and thoughts with you? Or perhaps you are uncomfortable with others being vulnerable and open, angry and loud, anxious and frantic, grieving and crying.
Emotional Fitness will benefit you in being able to more accurately respond to the emotions, needs, and requests of others. Guess what?! You will also be able to be more effective in sharing with others what you are feeling, needing, and requesting from them.
3. Understanding human emotionality is a fundamental “people skill,” and having good
people skills is a critical aspect of being successful in life.
An almost universal desire for men is that they grow to be “successful in life.” If you put 50 men into a room and ask each of them for their own personal definition of what “success in life” is or looks like to them, then you are likely to have at least 30 different definitions with varying degrees of commonalities. The reality is that if we were to really dig deep and analyze the truly basic thread in those responses is that “success in life” is attached to relationships. You know the saying “It's not about WHAT you know but WHO you know.” Being able to relate, connect, understand, and empathize with other people allows you to do many things: effectively serve them (in business or ministry contexts), accurately perceive their needs then offer a solution, patiently address concerns or complaints that they express, comfort their hurts and disappointments, affirm your care for them when they are afraid or anxious, being assertive and firm when they are angry and harsh etc. Emotional Fitness is undeniably attached to Relational Fitness as well.
4. Understanding human emotionality is a prerequisite for developing close, intimate, and
Do you think you can have a truly close and deep relationship with someone if neither of you engage your emotions and share them with one another?
In order to truly connect and bond with other people we must work on developing our Emotional Fitness and specifically focus on the “vulnerability muscles.” If we are reticent about letting others take a peek into our inner worlds then they cannot deeply know us which subsequently they cannot appropriately and meaningfully care for us as well as they could if we were to be emotionally vulnerable. If we are uncomfortable with others being emotionally vulnerable with us then they may experience us as aloof, disconnected, insecure, unempathetic, or uncaring when you know that you do genuinely care.
5. Only by engaging with others and God on an emotional level will our aloneness be
Have you been in a crowded room of people talking but yet felt disconnected from and unknown by them? This is a common experience of what aloneness is. In Genesis 2:18, God makes a statement that describes the nature of mankind “It is not good for man to be alone.” Aloneness is a matter of the heart and soul therefore it is an emotional issue. It is not a mental issue because we can have similar thoughts, beliefs, and convictions as others while feeling relationally distant from them. A very important aspect of being created in God’s image is that He designed every single person to be able to engage Him and others in personal and intimate relationships. Therefore, Emotional Fitness is interconnected with not just our Relational Fitness but our Spiritual Vitality. This upcoming group will allow you to practice and make progress in all three areas of your health!
For more information, or to register for the CRC-Atlanta Men's Emotional Fitness Group, please complete this Registration Form. After completing the form, CRC's intake team will contact you to set up an initial consultation with Ryan O'Kelly, APC.
Ryan O'Kelly, APC is under the clinical supervision of Troy Snyder, LPC, CCSAS, CPCS.